Tourist spending down 1.7% in second quarter despite 8% increase in visitor arrivals: STB

SINGAPORE – Overall tourism spending in the second quarter of 2018 declined 1.7 per cent to $6.6 billion, compared to the same period last year.

This was despite some 4.6 million visitors arriving in Singapore between April and June 2018, an 8 per cent increase on the same period last year, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) revealed in its quarterly report on Friday (Nov 9).

The dip in tourism spending was attributed to lower spending in areas like shopping (-22 per cent), food and beverage (-15 per cent) and sightseeing, entertainment and gaming (-2 per cent).

However, tourism spending grew for accommodation (6 per cent) and a miscellaneous category that includes expenditure on airfares on Singapore-based carriers, port taxes, local transportation, business, medical and education services (20 per cent).

Miscellaneous spending increased to an estimated $1.8 billion, accounting for the largest share of tourist spending.

Meanwhile, gazetted hotel room revenue for the second quarter grew by 9.4 per cent year on year to reach $1 billion, while the revenue per available room increased by 3.1 per cent year on year to $181 due to higher average room and occupancy rates.

The increase in visitor arrivals was highest for the month of June, when Singapore hosted the meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Visitor arrivals increased 11.3 per cent to 1.54 million that month compared to the same period last year, STB said in September.

China, Indonesia and India remained the biggest source of visitors and spending in the second quarter.

Excluding sightseeing, entertainment and gaming spending, Chinese visitors spent $988 million, with about 43 per cent spent on shopping. In comparison, Indonesian visitors spent $766 million, while Indian visitors spent $566 million.

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